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Look Again at That Dot


#1

Look Again at That Dot

Debi Smith

That love your neighbor thing? That golden rule espoused by most of the world’s religions? It’s not about only loving those who we agree with.

But why is this ideal not preached by our governments, or by most in our mainstream media (which in the U.S. has been consolidated into just five huge control-our-thinking-and-consumer-habits conglomerates), or by anyone else in power? Because keeping we the people divided, and controlling our thinking (and our spending), keeps our would-be collective power in check.


#2

Since that blue dot is heating up to dangerous levels because of greenhouse gas emissions and the fate of everyone or at least their offspring is threatened you would assume there would be common ground for taking steps to avoid oncoming catastrophe but there is not. The search for common ground may be futile. People in power and their supporters are apparently willing to sacrifice the long-term habitability of their own planet for short-term profits or increased political power.


#3

Until there is a new paradigm and a world wide change of consciousness that I live in this country, but my home is the earth, I cannot see much hope for future generations.

John Lennon: IMAGINE THERE ARE NO COUNTRIES.


#4

However, I believe these "short term profits" are beginning to slip especially when there is a weather disaster. We didn't even hear Trump that he was sending help to those affected by the tornadoes in Lousisiana. Instead it's more important for him to critizize Nordstrom. Taking care of our planet is something that we automatically need to do not to defer to others who use it for other purposes.


#5

Thank you Debi, here's an on line story about blue dots and suns too,

intro … http://zerowastenews.org/chapters-web/Pacifica-ch0.html


#6

Thank you for reminding me of Carl Sagan's words; so important to keep in the forefront as we continue to resist for the good of all. I believe that was the big message of the Women's March on Washington, across the country and world. We can do so much better but we must reclaim our voices from those that work to divide us and silence us. It is important to beware of the hot button topics such,as you pointed out, abortion. Abortion is a medical procedure. Abortion is a women's privacy issue. I believe that had we continued to educate and provide easily access to contraceptive options and forthright reproductive education for the last 30 years we would still not be having this conversation. However it has served well to keep women divided against each other with men having an aggressively loud and untruthful voice in the conversation. It is a classic power and control of abusive relationships. It is also important to follow the money in that who gains to keep us divided. We must beware of other "hot button" topics such as guns, environmentalist, ISIS, Obamacare, "regulations" and on and on. We need to keep our eye all that can unite us: healthcare for all, clean renewable energy, clean water and air for the whole earth, jobs for all, ending poverty, good clean food and so much more.


#7

We know our biosphere, is interconnected. That what affects one part affects the rest. That we are the cause of most biospheric disruption. And that it is caused by ignorance of science, often willful.

Conservatives ignore or deny that unlimited concentration of resources and power destroy the web of life. But conservatives love money, money is power and power corrupts. Conservatives become reactionaries, corrupted by fear, greed and superstition.

We invented democracy to decentralize and redistribute wealth and power more equitably, like a healthy biosphere requires. However, working under an anti-democratic system designed by oligarchs to remain in power forever, we are bound to fail. Our young country deserves better. Much is happening worldwide in resurrecting democracy:


#8

Progressives and Liberals do this all the time when they are verge of starting something that will deliver them change-they blow it by rediscovering life. They do not seem to be comfortable with conflict, with anger-all of which in this moment is particularly appropriate. Instead they caution, they remember, and then they rediscover. I know it's harsh charge-normally I would be among them, calling for respect, what we have in common because we do have more in common that we assume.
But this time is different. You don't make friends with Nazi's. As nice as many of them seem, they do not care about you or what you want or need. They do not care what you think and in fact some studies show they think differently not in just substance but in process as well. Again, harsh, but true.
Fascism may not be what Trump voters thought they were getting but is what we have, and we have to remember that. Yeah, look at that dot-it is amazing. But if we answer that clarion call of cooperation-offer our hand in common cause because we think we'll compromise with these folks- we will watch her burn, along with her children. Do we need to replace the paradigm of your- side- my- side- not- really- thinking-yep we do. Later. When the fascists crawl back into the hole they came out of, then I will be the first in line to offer my hand. Until then, I'm busy trying to prevent them from crashing the country, and burning our only planet down.


#9

I like the theme of this article, but I don't believe "common ground" will be achieved any time soon. A better solution, in my opinion, is "majority rules", and when our government can transition to a true democracy perhaps that goal can be reached.


#10

The most important common ground is a viable social contract that people understand and support. Within it, we can agree to disagree, remembering that without each other, the contract fails and we descend into a Hobbesian world that is "...solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Which seems to be where we are heading.


#11

Thank you, Debi, but I wonder if your experiment would have produced the same results had you been wearing a hijab or if you had been of another color. What I fear most about Trump's followers is how so many of them interpret Trump's presence in the White House as a license to put their hatred and intolerance into action. If it's okay for the President to be racist, bigoted, sexist and so on ... Agreeing to disagree is one thing, but this is quite another.


#12

I'm a mediator, a drug and alcohol counselor, and I work long-term with domestic violence offenders. I know how to have difficult conversations. I know how to find common ground. What I have learned that I cannot do is pierce the wall of propaganda that has been built up over the last 30 years to protect those in control.

I have seen talk radio destroy my friends' ability to track their own values or know what is true. One, always a staunch conservationist, is now a climate change denier. I actually had a counselor that I accessed through an employee assistance program, to hash out some beliefs that are holding me back, discount everything I said about economic policy and history for an hour and finally say, "The jobs are coming back, you know."

These people's brains have been changed, they literally cannot let in new or uncomfortable information. It doesn't even sink in when it's happening to them. Those in power use propaganda because it works.


#13

Too bad I won't live long enough to laugh at Trump when his resorts are swallowed up by the rising oceans. Come to think of it he won't either, but his grandchildren will.


#14

Long, long ago, when I was just a boy of age six or so, on television probably as a public service, as it was not what seemed to be a commercial, a short cartoon would play along with a little song, "I wanna live in a happy world, a happy world, a happy world today..." The rest of the song escapes my memory but this was around the year 1957 so shortly after WW2. Looking back now it seems to me that somehow as a social binder it worked. Even though money was scarce and hard earned yet badly needed to feed large families then, people were happier.


#15

Regarding abortion, many people who have a love affair with the fetus view it as murder. I do not agree. It's not murder because a fertilized egg is not yet a person. When does it become a person? Answer-- at birth.


#16

I'm a conservative. I don't love money or power. You are too busy insulting people you know nothing about to be able to discuss anything usefully.


#17

One of the biggest reasons that it's so hard to get along is that there are far too many of us, with ever-increasing competition for ever-decreasing resources (exacerbated by those buy-buy-buy Multi-NaZional media conglom-erates mentioned above).   The root cause of most of our current problems is GROSS OVERPOPULATION – both in the U.S. and worldwide – which it seems NOBODY wants to admit or even to talk about.   (Just look at how often it's mentioned in the above article or in the comments which follow.)

We HAVE met the Enemy, and They IS Us – WAY TOO MANY OF US!!


#18

Don't take it the wrong way. Some of those I love most were conservatives. I used to be a conservative too. But I got over my childish fears. it was the dope I think.


#19

The common ground that we need right now is a belief in the rule of law and democracy. I think it is has been assumed that almost all Americans support the rule of law and democracy but a recent survey suggests that may no longer be true.


#20

Debi Smith,

Replying to your invitation for responses to you article.

There are no indications that people are born with a predilection towards xenophobia instead of decent impulses. Some will say that things aren't what they 'used to be'. Others dismiss that as a generational comment that every gereration repeats. Yet if one checks they'll find that there has been efforts over the decades to separate and isolate people. The philosophy that we're responsible for only ourselves and no one else. Destroying the sense of community, the interactions and synergism that benefits us all as opposed to being atomized individuals. This was a conscious effort by the wealthy and powerful who control and run the country and wanted to increase that control and prevent attempts at functioning democracy. It was designed and implemented by what is now the most sophisticated and deeply rooted propaganda complex the world had ever known. And who exist for just this purpose.

Religious orthodoxies are themselves institutions of power. They maintain that power by controlling members. They are xenophobic and clannish by nature. Far right-wing political sources tap into that membership pool by exploiting that xenophobia and use it to weaken the majority via the 'divide et impera' strategy.

That people share many fundamental and important issues was dramatically revealed by the Bernie Sanders campaign. No 'hot button' topics but actual issues people find very important. A campaign that the media virtually shunned and was treated almost with contempt by the party his ran under. And he almost won the nomination. Trump, or any other GOP human impersonator, couldn't have stopped him. He had no weak points to exploit, and everything Sanders stressed over and over would have exposed Trump and his 5th grade level of speech for what he is. It took the Democractic 'leadership' to keep the country from getting a 180 degree different outcome. Sanders stressed basic issues of economics and equity. Issues of living and existence. That they should be considered 'parisan' issues is an indication to the degree of propagandistic influence in our political discourse. But the public, besides being born with decent impulses also inherited a brain and free will. Attributes that would assess Sanders as the real thing.

The human population is an example of pluralism. Orthodoxies, which reject pluralism, demand that there be an answer to anything and everything. But there isn't, and we know that. In the sciences this was realized by Isaac Newton over 300 yrs ago. He thought the physical world could be described like clockwork, but found that it couldn't. And science today knows not one bit more about the most fundamental questions than what Newton did. Yet we can make models and mathematical representations and make accurate predictions for these fundamental phenomena which created our industrial and technological world. We can live without knowing the answers to the most fundamental questions. For physics and for the reproduction of conscious beings like ourselves. One can't deny the emotional aspect. It's built in by nature, both physically and by our capacity for empathy. But humanity has existed with a 'live and let live' understanding. Perhaps for the same reasons. It's interesting to note what part of a population the 'Ten Commandments' were addressed to. No mention of the evils of power, exploitation or the nurturing of xenophobia.

The 'Pale Blue Dot' theme is an interesting reminder and barometer to give us a perspective on reality and our commonality. But predator and prey have that same commonality. What's lacking is the common good. Back in the 1950's and perhaps the 1960's there was a childern's tv show that ended with the words “The big world we are in, and the bigger world that's in us”. It's the latter that finds the common good.